The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) have released the statistics report on the average income based on occupation (and state) for income year 2016/17.

The report is based upon 16.5 million 2017 income tax returns in respect to 13.9 million individuals, and 970,000 corporations.

In a nutshell, the report reveals the top paying jobs or occupations in Australia, and in each State and Territory.

The report also reveals the gender gap in income between males and females for certain occupations.

Interestingly, despite the public perception, lawyers, barristers and judges don’t even make it in the top 5 paying jobs in Australia.

A further interesting revelation is that 72 occupations amongst over 1000 occupations were females with a higher income than males.

Top 10 Highest Paying Jobs in Australia

Occupation Average Yearly
1. Surgeon $394,866
2. Anaesthetist $367,343
3. Internal Medicine Specialist $299,378
4. Financial Dealer $261,008
5. Psychiatrist $216,075
6. Other Medical Practitioner $204,387
7. Judge, Magistrate, Lawyer, Barrister $195,703
8. Mining Engineer $167,345
9. CEO or Managing Director $157,643
10. Engineering Manager $147,451

Lawyer Salary Australia – How Much Does a Lawyer Earn in Australia?

Lawyers include solicitors, barristers, Magistrates and Judges in Australia.

How much do lawyers earn or how much do lawyers make in Australia? Below is a table outlining the average income of solicitors, Magistrates and Judges based on gender.

Average income for 2015/16 financial year- Judges, Magistrates and solicitors

Occupation Female Male
Judge $363,544 $383,642
Magistrate $265,478 $251,713
Lawyer or Solicitor $106,475 $143,206
Intellectual property lawyer, Patent or Trade Mark Lawyer $139,170 $273,691

Barrister Salary Australia- How Much Does a Barrister Earn in Australia?

How much do barristers make and what is the salary of a barrister? Below is a table outlining the average income of barristers based on gender.

Average income for 2015/16 financial year- Barristers

Occupation Female Male
Barrister $68,287 $173,389

The statistics reflect that female Judges are getting paid less than male Judges, while female Magistrates are getting paid more than male Magistrates in the 2015/16 financial year.

It also shows that in the same year, female barristers are getting paid much less than male barristers creating a significant gender inequality.


Top 5 Jobs Where Females Get Paid More than Males

The below is an outline on the first 5 jobs that females are dominating in with a higher yearly income than males in financial year 2016/17.

Jobs where Females Earn More than Males

Occupation Females Average Income Male Average Income
Author $85,006 $68,342
Futures Trader $315,197 $303,466
Magistrate $262,152 $255,177
Pro Surfer $76,614 $48,367
Illustrator $62,245 $58,304


Average Income Across Males and Females

The below table outlines the average income and median income across males and females between financial years 2015/16 and 2016/17.

Average and Median Pay Across Male and Female

2015/16 2016/17
Female Pay Male Pay Female Pay Male Pay
Average Income $48,043 $69,644 $48,118 $69,278
Median Income $37,767 $52,316 $37,908 $52,376


The Highest Paying Areas in Each State and Territory

The following outlines the highest earning area or postcode in each of Australia’s State and Territory.

Highest earning areas in Australia

2016/17 Income Year
State and Are Average Yearly Pay
NSW (Post Code: 2108)

Coasters Retreat, Currawong Beach, Great Mackerel Beach, Palm Beach

Queensland (Post Code: 4007)

Ascot, Hamilton, Hamilton Central

ACT (Post Code: 2603)

Forrest, Griffith, Manuka, Red Hill

Tasmania (Post Code: 7258)

Breadalbane, Relbia, White Hills

Victoria (Post Code: 3142)

Hawksburn, Toorak

South Australia (Post Code: 5061)

Hyde Park, Malvern, Unley, Unley Bc, Unley Dc, Unley Park

Western Australia (Post Code: 6011)

Cottesloe, Peppermint Grove

Northern Territory (Post Code: 885)




 What are the Sources of Personal Income?

For the financial year 2016/17, 13.7 million people submitted their tax returns. From this, the aggregate person income was $856.2 billion.

From that, the median pay amounted to $48,360, which had increased by 1.4% from the year prior.

Income as an employee was the largest contributor to the total income, being 87.2%, which had reduced from 87.6% the year prior.

76.9% of those people received income as an employee, as their main income course. This was an increase from the year prior (76.7%). Employee income is considered their main source of pay.

The largest income source was also employee income- it had a median of $49,083. This was an increase from the previous year (by 1.4%).

The second highest income source was income derived from superannuation. This income source had a median of $20,669 (being a 3.7% increase from the previous year).


What’s the Statistics on Jobs and Employment in Australia?

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reveal that in 2016/17 financial year, 19.2 million people had ‘job relationships’.

From this, 89.5% of jobs were employees, whilst 10.5% of jobs were ‘owner managers’. 74.8% were jobs from the private sector, and 17% were jobs from the public sector.

In the same financial year 2016/17, the ABS outline that the highest employee jobs were people in the age bracket 25 to 29, comprising 2.6 million roles. Amongst this group, males held 52.2% of the jobs, while females held a little less at 47.8%.


Which Industries Have the Most Jobs?

For the financial year 2016/17, the following industries hold the highest number of jobs in Australia, by order from first to last.

Top 5 industries with the most jobs

1. Social Assistance and Health Care
2. Retail Trade
3. Administrative and Support Services
4. Retail Trade
5. Education & Training
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About Jimmy Singh

Mr. Jimmy Singh is the Principal Lawyer at Criminal Defence Lawyers Australia - Leading Criminal Lawyers in Sydney, Delivering Exceptional Results in all Australian Criminal Courts.


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